10 Most Costly Swimming Pools

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The San Alfonso del Mar hotel and resort holds the Guiness World Record for 2008 for the largest swimming pool in the world.
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When you think of pricey swimming pools, you may imagine the pool at your favored hotel or the wave pool at the local water park. Although pools like these are impressive, they are not comparable to some of the world’s most expensive pools, which can cost millions or even billions of dollars to construct. These top-of-the-line pools can be found at resorts and private residences worldwide. Surprisingly, many of them are open to the public, allowing anyone to enjoy a taste of the good life in a breathtaking environment.

Increasingly, these high-end swimming pools are becoming must-see destinations. By constructing the world’s most expensive or most luxurious pool, developers and resort owners are attracting crowds who want to experience the newest and most thrilling attractions worldwide.

So, what makes a pool costly, anyway? Often, the high price tag of these pools comes from the technology required to build them large or to reach greater depths. It may also result from the use of luxury materials like marble, mosaic tile, or other fine design elements. Top-end features such as waterslides, fountains, and sophisticated control systems can also drive up the cost of a pool to staggering heights.

Want to see what type of pool you can build with a $2 billion budget? Keep reading to discover the world’s largest pool.

10: San Alfonso del Mar

Located in the resort town of Algarrobo on Chile’s southern coast, San Alfonso del Mar has changed the world’s perception of swimming pools. That’s because this pool is big enough to sail a boat in, and if you swim its entire length, you’d cover 8/10ths of a mile (1.3 km). The San Alfonso is more than 20 acres (8 hectares) in size, which is 6,000 times larger than your average hotel pool and was declared the biggest pool in the world by the Guinness Book of World Records in 2008 [source: Crystal Lagoons].

It took five years to construct the pool and cost nearly $2 billion USD (about $1.1 trillion Chilean pesos) [source: Tatko-Peterson]. Developers used an innovative salt-water filtering technology created by Crystal Lagoons to purify over 66 million gallons (2.5 million liters) of ocean water to fill the pool [source: Crystal Lagoons]. It opened in 2007 as part of the San Alfonso del Mar resort, which is home to thousands of apartments, condominiums, and hotel rooms. Although the pool is not open to the public, all resort guests and residents have limitless access.

9: Seagaia Ocean Dome

Visitors to the park walk along the artificial beach in the Ocean Dome.
Koichi Kamoshida/Getty Images

When it’s too cold to swim at the beach, visitors to the Sheraton Seagaia Resort in Miyazaki, Japan, can go to the resort’s indoor pool. Known as the “Ocean Dome,” Seagaia is home to the world’s largest indoor pool. The pool is nearly 1,000 feet (300 meters) long and 328 feet (100 meters) wide, and it’s covered by a retractable roof that lets the sun in on warmer days. Several times a day, the pool is emptied to allow surfers to catch a wave, and an artificial volcano erupts every 15 minutes. Ocean Dome’s beach is made of crushed quartz, and there’s even a separate children’s pool and waterslide area [source: Seagaia].

Seagaia’s Ocean Dome opened in 1993 with a whopping $2 billion (200 billion yen) price tag. However, it has been shut down multiple times due to changes in ownership or financial difficulties [source: Scanlon]. In 2007, the Ocean Dome closed indefinitely to undergo significant renovation and restructuring [source: Seagaia].

8: Nemo 33

If you’re in Brussels, Belgium, and searching for a diving spot, check out Nemo 33 pool. It’s the deepest man-made swimming pool globally, reaching 108 feet (33 meters) deep. The pool is massive, holding 660,000 gallons (2.5 million liters) of water, and visitors can explore underwater tunnels and rooms. It took seven years and over $3 million USD ($3.2 Euros) to construct [source: Swimming World Magazine].

Nemo 33 opened to the public in 2004 and is a favorite spot for scuba divers and filmmakers shooting underwater scenes. Certified divers can use the pool for approximately $30 USD (20 Euro), and guests can take classes to learn safe diving techniques [source: Nemo 33].

7: Hearst Castle

The indoor pool at Hearst Castle
Jim Steinfeldt/Michaelochs Archives/Getty Images

Hearst Castle, located in California, boasts two luxurious pools that are perhaps the most renowned swimming pools globally. The outdoor Neptune pool spans 104 feet by 58 feet (32 by 18 meters), while the indoor Roman pool is slightly smaller. The property, including both pools and furnishings, cost less than $10 million to build between 1924 and 1936 [source: Hearst Castle/California State Parks]. Recreating the pools today would be challenging, as they are designed to resemble ancient Roman baths and feature priceless marble and intricate tile mosaics. The pools are adorned with stunning works of art commissioned by the Hearst family, including statues by skilled Italian craftsmen. The Neptune pool area, including the walls, ceilings, and pool, is covered with thousands of mosaic tiles lined with gold [source: Hearst Castle/California State Parks].

Guests can tour the mansion throughout the year, with both day and evening tours available. Occasionally, the mansion holds benefit auctions where visitors can bid for the chance to spend an evening on the property or go for a swim in the pools.

6: Lev Leviev Residence

In 2008, the Lev Leviev family moved into the most expensive private home ever built in the United Kingdom, located in North London. The house cost $68 million USD (35 million British pounds) to construct and boasts one of the world’s most expensive private pools [source: Cleland]. The indoor swimming pool is lined with gold tiles and features a full spa and sauna. Furthermore, when it’s time to host a party, the pool has a retractable cover that transforms the area into an opulent ballroom. However, this pool is solely open to friends and family, so don’t cancel your community pool membership just yet.

5: Gellert Thermal Baths

The Hotel Gellert baths in Budapest
Vladimir Pcholkin/Photodisc/Getty Images

The Gellert Thermal Baths, located in Budapest, Hungary, are among the world’s oldest and most well-known public bathhouses still in use. The baths were built between 1912 and 1918 and are an excellent example of the Art Nouveau style popular during that era. The Baths feature numerous pools spanning over 7,500 square feet (700 square meters), including an outdoor wave pool, children’s pool, and opulent Roman baths [source: Gellert Baths].

The Gellert pools are fed by over 100 hot mineral springs that are said to have natural healing properties. The pools feature classic design elements such as marble, mosaic tile, and art. The building has a retractable roof for warmer days, and the pools are open to the public for a fee.

The Umaid Bhawan Palace is a hotel and royal residence in India that was completed in 1943. It was the largest home in the world at the time and took 15 years and over 3,500 builders to construct. The palace has a circular indoor pool called the “Zodiac” that is decorated with Art Deco tiles depicting the signs of the Zodiac. The pool is open to hotel guests and members of the royal family who still reside in their private wing.

The Sarojin Resort in Thailand has a luxurious infinity pool that measures 269 square feet and overlooks the Indian Ocean. Guests can relax on floating pavilions, schedule a massage on a floating table, and enjoy lush tropical landscaping. The resort was destroyed by the 2004 Asian tsunami but was rebuilt and opened eight months later.

The Kitchukov Family Pool in Gilbert, Arizona, is the most expensive private pool in the United States. It took five months to build, cost $1 million, and features waterfalls, fountains, and a 15-foot waterslide. The pool has a 15-person hot tub, a full bar, and a lighting system for nighttime use. The area is surrounded by rich landscaping, a putting green, and a skateboard bowl.

The pool’s state-of-the-art control system is one of its most impressive features. With the ScreenLogic interface, the family can operate the pool’s functions from anywhere in the world with ease. The ScreenLogic system enables users to change the temperature, lighting color, and even warm up the Jacuzzi remotely. The program can be accessed from any Internet connection or the company’s new iPhone app. Crystal Lagoons, the makers of the mega-pool in San Alfonso del Mar, are using their patented filtering technology to create larger pools worldwide. The City of Stars resort complex’s latest addition in Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt, is set to open later this year. The pool, which will be more than 21 acres, is expected to cost over $5.5 billion. Crystal Lagoons’ 18 interconnected lagoons in Soma Bay, south of Cairo, will cover more than 30 acres and cost an estimated $12 billion. The company has almost 50 more pool projects in the pipeline that are anticipated to push the limits of expensive pool design.

Additional Information

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  • Construction Week Online. “Crystal Lagoons Launch Project in Egypt.” Construction Week. April 1, 2009. 8/28/09.http://www.constructionweekonline.in/article-4823-crystal_lagoons_launch_project_in_egypt/
  • Cleland, Gary. “Most Expensive New Home is Sold for 35 Million.” UK Telegraph. January 8, 2008. 8/28/09.http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1574910/Most-expensive-new-home-is-sold-for-35m.html
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1. What is the most expensive pool in the world?

The most expensive pool in the world is located at the San Alfonso del Mar resort in Chile. The pool is 1 kilometer long and cost around $2 billion to build. The pool holds 66 million gallons of water and is so large that you can sail a boat on it.

2. How much does it cost to build an expensive pool?

The cost of building an expensive pool can vary greatly depending on the size, location, and features. Some of the most expensive pools in the world have cost upwards of $2 billion to build. However, a more modestly priced luxury pool can still cost several hundred thousand dollars to construct.

3. What are some features of expensive pools?

Expensive pools often have a variety of features that make them stand out from standard pools. Some popular features include infinity edges, waterfalls, built-in hot tubs, and swim-up bars. Many expensive pools also have elaborate landscaping and lighting to create a luxurious atmosphere.

4. How do you maintain an expensive pool?

Maintaining an expensive pool requires regular cleaning and upkeep. This includes testing and balancing the water chemistry, skimming debris from the surface, and cleaning the pool walls and floor. Many expensive pools also have complex filtration and heating systems that require regular maintenance and repair.

5. What are some benefits of having an expensive pool?

Aside from being a luxurious amenity, an expensive pool can have a variety of benefits. Swimming is a great form of exercise and can improve cardiovascular health, muscle strength, and flexibility. A pool can also serve as a gathering place for family and friends, and can be a great spot for entertaining and relaxation.

6. Can you finance an expensive pool?

Yes, it is possible to finance an expensive pool. Many pool builders offer financing options that allow homeowners to spread the cost of the pool over several years. However, it is important to carefully consider the interest rates and repayment terms before committing to a financing agreement.

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